Taika Waititi Was in Agony and Had to Use a Walking Stick While Filming Next Goal Wins

Taika Waititi Was in Agony and Had to Use a Walking Stick While Filming Next Goal Wins


  • Taika Waititi faced physical challenges while shooting Next Goal Wins due to an injury, relying on a walking stick and painkillers.
  • Despite his success in big-budget films, Waititi wants to return to his roots and work on smaller projects, expressing fatigue with blockbusters.
  • Waititi will not be involved in a potential fifth Thor film, indicating his desire to explore different filmmaking opportunities.

Taika Waititi is one of those directors who always enjoys his work on set, but during the shooting of his most recent film, Next Goal Wins, he had some very difficult days and even had to use a walking stick.

After the failure of Thor: Love and Thunder, Waititi returns to the big screen with the new sports comedy from Searchlight Pictures. Starring Michel Fassbender, Next Goal Wins tells the story of Dutch American football coach Thomas Rongen, who was given the choice between being fired and achieving an impossible task, turning the American Samoa national team into a true game-winning machine. The film will show the hard work of the coach and his players to achieve their goal, and the bond they built on the way.

Filming on the movie began in November 2019 and ended in January 2020, and just before starting shooting, the director had an injury, which made his time on set a little less pleasant than expected. In an exclusive chat with MovieWeb, Waititi revealed details about the challenges he faced due to his physical problems on the set of Next Goal Wins:

“One of the worst days was — I’d say there were quite bad days. Because I got an injury just a few days before the shoot and pinched my sciatic nerve. So I couldn’t really walk for the whole shoot. And there’s a lot of having to run around with soccer fields, and so a lot of the time I was like, using a walking stick and on painkillers, and I was in such agony. Thank God there were jokes and humor in everything, because otherwise I don’t know what the hell I would have done.”

Related: Next Goal Wins: How Taika Waititi’s Upcoming Film Is a Long-Awaited Return to His Roots

Taika Waititi Wants a Short Break From Big Studios, Despite Big Projects Coming.

Taika Waititi

In the last couple of years, the director, actor, producer and writer has become one of the most acclaimed artists in Hollywood after his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, achieving various recognitions during the awards season, and even leaving an important mark on television with series like Reservation Dogs or Our Flag Means Death. And although he will soon be participating in two big projects for major studios, such as the adaptation of Akira and a Star Wars movie, it seems that Waititi wants to return to his roots and work mostly on small-budget films.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the filmmaker revealed he’s kind of tired of blockbusters:

“I don’t know. I’m a bit fatigued by working on those big films, studio films, which is why I’ve come back to do smaller films like this; my next film will be a smaller one.There’s always a place for them and they’re always inspirational. As a little kid, those are the things I loved, going to see these big movies set in outer space to take a great escape from where we are. So I hope they continue.”

In fact, Waititi recently confirmed that he will not be involved in a potential fifth installment of Thor after rumors began to circulate that Marvel Studios was already working on the next film centered on the God of Thunder.


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